Fondling, Groping, and Nude Photos

I flew on the airlines eight days after 9/11.  For the first time, I actually looked at the other passengers, trying to imagine how one could identify a terrorist by sight.  As I got ready to board, the security procedures were quite a bit more thorough than ever before, and I gladly complied.  I remember thinking, “Given what just happened, I would walk through security naked.”

Maybe that’s just me.  I am not particularly modest, figuring naked is how I came into the world and that getting all worked up about nudity is not productive.  Nearly ten years later, I have different feelings, not about nudity, but about airport security.

Americans spent decades lying down for most anything the authorities told them to do.  Minorities and hippies excepted, few people bothered to ask whether the police were right to do what they do.  It was considered part of good citizenship, and many probably figured that claims of police brutality and corruption came from those who deserved what they got.

I do not have a great answer to the problem of security.  The vast majority of police and TSA employees are no doubt doing what they think is right and sincerely believe that they are keeping us safe.  On the other hand, citizens are right to ask, “Is this really necessary?”

Now we have a nation reawakened to its individualist roots.  People want to be safe, but they also want to retain control over their bodies and their dignity.  As for me, I am just glad people have reclaimed enough self-respect to question the authorities.

So what to do about flying?  Well there’s national opt-out day, Wednesday, November 24 (the day before Thanksgiving).  That ought to be entertaining.  I can say that because I am not flying that day.  Or, you could just wear this t-shirt.  My business partner came up with this one and we decided to sell it in the Common Sense Liberty online store:

As far as I know, that won’t get you detained.


Please do not ask Terry for nude photos.  Though he is not ashamed of his body, he no longer makes money off it.

About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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2 Responses to Fondling, Groping, and Nude Photos

  1. David says:

    How about borrowing some ideas from the Israelis. They’ve been dealing with a greater threat for a lot longer than we have.



  2. Ann Oliver says:

    Interesting article and pictures (I have to admit that I did try to find you in the airplane picture ;-D ). I do feel that being proactive rather than reactive produces better results.


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